Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will address Indian-Americans at a charity event organised for Hindu victims of terrorism in New Jersey. Trump’s attendance and address at tomorrow’s event organised by Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) makes him the first presidential candidate to attend an Indian-Americans’ event this election cycle.
“This is a history in the making. Never in the history of US presidential election, a candidate has come to a Hindu event,” said Shalabh ‘Shalli’ Kumar, founder and chairman of the Republican Hindu Coalition.
Kumar described the concert as a “Bollywood, Tollywood, Punjabi extravaganza” to benefit Kashmiri and Hindu refugees. In a short video message last month, confirming his attendance to the event, Trump said the Hindu community had made fantastic contributions to world civilization and to American culture.
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“We look forward to celebrating our shared values of free enterprise, hard work, family values, and a strong American foreign policy,” he said. In a short video message, he described this as an “incredible” event.
“In his video statement Trump has made terrific statements about Hindus and Indians. He has gone all out for friendship with India and Indian Americans and Hindu Americans,” Kumar said. He claims to have donated more than a million dollar to the Trump Campaign and the Republican party this election cycle.
“All the proceeds from this would go for the benefit of victims of terror particularly Kashmiri Pundits and Hindu refugees from Bangladesh,” he said. This is for the first time in the last two presidential elections that a presidential candidate would be making an appearance at an Indian-American event.
Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, has held and attended a series of fund raisers organised by Indian Americans across the country including at their homes. But those are all closed door events away from public glare. Clinton, often called as Senator from Punjab and has a large following among the Indian Americans is yet to make any public appearance before the community. But she has appointed a large number of Indian Americans in her campaign team.
A recent Pew Survey had said that Indian-Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democrats. Trump’s decision is seen as an attempt to woo the small but powerful Indian-American community who can play a key role in some of the battle ground States if the race is close.